In the latest report of the United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service, coconut oil exports may decline to 810,000 metric tons (MT), down 23 percent from last year’s 1.025 million MT.
Pixabay via Sergio01/File
Philippines coconut oil exports to hit 3-yr low
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The export of coconut oil, the country’s top agricultural export, is expected to decline this year due to an oversupply of global vegetable oils coupled with the decline in local copra production.

In the latest report of the United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS), coconut oil exports may decline to 810,000 metric tons (MT), down 23 percent from last year’s 1.025 million MT.

This will be the lowest recorded coconut oil exports in the last three years.

Local coconut oil output is expected to drop by three percent to 1.56 million MT from the 1.61 million MT recorded in 2019.

This as copra production will continue to decline to 2.51 million MT from the 2.56 million MT last year.

“Consistent with the downward trend in copra production, coconut oil production will decline and exports will likewise mirror this trend amid a current oversupply in global vegetable oils,” USDA said.

However, it added that industrial consumption will increase considerably in the next two years due to an increase in the mandated biodiesel blend from two to three percent.

Food use consumption is also expected to increase modestly from the previous year’s level as this will be enhanced by improved competitiveness of coconut oil food use over palm oil as their price differential continues to narrow.

Further, copra meal output is expected to decline as coconut trees take their biological rest period consistent with industry’s expectation this year.

Exports of copra meal, a by-product of the coconut oil extraction process,  will also decline this year with South Korea and Vietnam still the top export destinations.

“Copra productivity in the long term, however, is constrained by predominantly old and unproductive coconut palms or trees which constitute an estimated 20 percent of overall Philippine coconut trees,” USDA said.

Coconut trees, which have an 80 to 90 – year lifespan, may start to bear nuts after six to 10 years, but take around 15 to 20 years to reach their peak.

Data showed that coconuts may be found in close to 70 of the country’s over 80 provinces, and cover around a quarter of agricultural land.

COCONUT OIL
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